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VIDEO: A partner in the Palace: Casino lands naming rights for field for Bemidji Axemen

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji Axemen will play their first game on Palace Casino Field inside the Sanford Center Feb. 7.

Team president Chris Kokalis announced the Axemen's partnership with the casino/hotel, owned by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, in a press conference Monday afternoon.

"To have partners like Leech Lake be part of our Axemen family to help ensure the vitality of our franchise is vitally important," Kokalis said.

Kokalis spoke of the positive impact Leech Lake has had on the community.

"To align ourselves with an organization like that really makes sense," he said.

Carri Jones, chairwoman of the Leech Lake Band, said the deal helps fulfill the band's goal of strengthening its relationship with the Bemidji community.

"That's one of the things...we've been looking at, starting to build our relationships that were not there before," she said. "We've established a really good relationship with the Sanford Center, and now with the Bemidji Axemen coming in, we've just gained another partner there, so we're really excited about that."

Kokalis said after the conference that the Palace will now be included in all of the Axemen marketing efforts.

"Wherever the Axemen logo is located, you'll see the Palace Field logo," he said.

An on-field promotion of the casino will take place during each game and the Palace logo will be placed at mid-field, Kokalis said.